Sunday, August 16, 2009

More Ambleside Online

Mansel will be starting year 4. I did year 4 with Tori... she didn't like it much. Mansel is a much different reader than she is. He is already looking forward to starting the school year. His most favorite classes this year were science, in which I had him read and narrate to me out of a reader, and literature... more reading of course.

So -- he will read the following books.


This Country of Ours by HE Marshall Charles I-George III
** ***George Washington's World by Genevieve Foster 349 pages
(optional extra) ***An Island Story ch 95 and 96, 1760-1820, George III; Free Audio at Librivox Part 1, Part 2.

History Tales and/or Biography

Trial and Triumph (Church history from a definite Protestant perspective) by Richard Hannula (selected chapters) Read a sample excerpt or purchase the book. Now online Descriptions of some trials of the Christians may be intense; parents should preview chapters to determine suitablity based on their children's sensitivities. If you prefer, you can cover church history in Years 7-9 with a different book, Saints and Heroes.
* Poor Richard by James Daugherty
** *** Abigail Adams: Witness to a Revolution by Natalie S. Bober (note).


Minn of the Mississippi by Holling C. Holling (Mississippi River Page) (map or map) Beautiful Feet sells a set of maps for the Holling books, do a search for Holling Maps

Natural History

The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock (a 1911 version is online in various formats here)


We are skipping out on Ambleside Online science books. I'm going to start the boys on the Apologia Science experience. Exploring Creation with Astronomy. With it we are going to use the Lapbook CD that is available. I'm sensing a science fair project coming on. Eventually all the littles will be doing this science together. In 7th or 8th grade I'll switch to the "grown up" version of Apologia for their science.


He too will be working on a worktext from Rainbow Resource. I have plans on them using Practical Math, which is not the same thing as Practical Math as seen here . I look forward to my kiddos being able to make on-the-spot, emergency recalculations for their return and reentry to the atmosphere with notepads and pencils in the days when there were no interactive computers to depend upon. You will find these books to be entirely wholesome, as well as very challenging, for your children. Your children will be drilled by lists of problems that will require them to perfect each arithmetic skill in every possible facet and type of problem in which it can be faced. Oh... I'm just kidding. It's the old fashioned way... that's for sure. It's not Saxon... that's all I'll say. LOL

Foreign Language

Not Latin, because I'm a wimp. He will just use the Spanish CD from Costco.


The Age of Fable by Thomas Bulfinch preface to 14 (Minerva-Niobe)
* ** The Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (Book II, The Further Adventures, is not scheduled and is not included in most versions)
** *** Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
*** The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
short works:
*** The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (listen to it on
*** Paul Revere's Ride by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (listen to it on librivox; scroll down)
*** Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving (listen to it on; scroll down)

I'm so looking forward to Mansel's school year. I think he will like it too. You know what I did? With Tori she read Kon-Tiki... well -- the AO ladies have taken that out of the schedule for some reason. I'm going to have Mansel read it. I think he will like it. So -- he'll also being reading that too.

Handing writing of course, and spelling.

I've got my schedule on the computer... our days off all planned out. We are going to be doing a 4 day school week, with Fridays reserved for appointments, or Home School Co-op Activity Days.

As always -- the beginning of the school year is so exciting for me. I'm really looking forward to this school year. I'm learning that we doing all have to do school the same way. Tori is going to do one thing, the boys another thing.

Oh -- I can't forget Dani. She's starting school this year. More to come.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ambleside Online

Mansel and Milo will be doing school the Ambleside Online way. I'm looking forward to this.

Here is what their web-site says. "Ambleside Online is a free curriculum designed to be as close as possible to the curriculum that Charlotte Mason used in her own PNEU schools. Our goal is to be true to Charlotte Mason's high literary standards. Ambleside Online uses the highest quality books and costs no more than the cost of texts."

So -- with the help of Rainbow Resource... we are on our way. I only had to get 3 books from Amazon, for Mansel. That Rainbow Resource is spectacular! Hooray.

Milo will be doing year 2. I know... I should probably start him with year 1, but I'm not going to. He's going to be in 2nd grade, so we'll start with year 2. I'll be doing most of his reading. But he will have some to read on his own as well, and narrate back to me. I love that part!

An Island Story by HE Marshall ch 22-60 1066-1553, Harold II-Edward VI, (Our Island Story is the same book) Free Audio at Librivox Part 1, Part 2.

This Country of Ours (TCOO) by HE Marshall ch 1-5
A Child's History of the World by Virgil Hillyer ch 47 on Charlemaigne, skip Alfred - ch 61

History Tales and/or Biography

Trial and Triumph (Church history from a definite Protestant perspective) by Richard Hannula (selected chapters)

* ** The Little Duke by Charlotte Yonge (An author CM used in the PNEU curriculum. This is a lively, literary biography of Richard, Duke of Normandy, great-grandfather of William the Conqueror, beginning in 943 AD. Yonge's historical information about events of the Viking era is meticulously researched, although presented in a somewhat Victorian tone.) Text also here.
*** Joan of Arc by Diane Stanley


Tree in the Trail by Holling C. Holling -- map)
Seabird by Holling C. Holling

Natural History/Science

The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock (a 1911 version is online in various formats here)
* ** The Burgess Animal Book for Children by Thornton Burgess See Kelly Kenar's taxonomy key to research more about the animals in the book
*** Pagoo by Holling C Holling

Phonics/Reading Instruction

Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Engelmann, Haddox and Bruner. Milo will be finished with this in 2 more lessons, I believe. Then we go on from there with Pathway Readers. I may pick up some explode the code workbooks. We'll see.


Math Worktext from Rainbow Resource!

Foreign Language

A Spanish CD we got from COSTCO.


Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb
Pilgrim's Progress Book 1 (Christian's Journey) by John Bunyan - the original language is recommended; read why and see recommended versions here.
* Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (published as "Betsy" in the UK)
** The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (we recommend the edition illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard)
*** Robin Hood by Howard Pyle (this book may be continued into the summer if necessary to finish) Don't let the language put you off this book. After getting a feel for the rhythym and phrases, many moms report that this is a favorite with their children, especially boys. It can be the book that helps transition children to some other challenging AO books. Now available as an unabridged audio with British accent from

Milo will also continue using the Getting-Dubay handwriting curriculum.

He will be using the Spelling CD for his grade as well.

Bible we will all do together with Dad. We are still working on our Bible Curriculum from Landmark Freedom Baptist. Working through Proverbs together.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dani Starts school This Year

She is SO excited!!

100 EZ Lessons
Italic Getty-Dubay workbook
A Math Workbook from Costco.

There ya have it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Do you like to read about school?

Here is what I have planned for school this year.

Tori - 8th grade.

F.U.F.I. I hate acronymns. LOL Ok... well -- hate is a very strong word. Good grief... don't google that one. Bleck. Anyway. Further Up and Further In This is what Tori will be using for her 8th grade year. The web-site says this... "This rich study is based on C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. It covers a wide range of subjects, including English and literature, history and social studies, geography, science, Bible and character building, cooking, and art."

Tori and I have been struggling with SAXON Math. I mentioned this to a friend. She recommended KEYS TO series. She had one of her kiddos do those for a while and really nailed those math facts. I've decided that I don't really like the "spiral" approach to math. Or the Incremental method. I want the learn this and practice it until you get it, then we'll go on. No merry-go-round stuff for us. We are taking a year off from the packaged "stuff" and going to go with the Keys To Series. We are going to STICK this math and get it. Really get it. Then start highschool math stuff in 9th grade.

She'll also still do handwriting. After 7 years of handwriting, she thought she was done. Ahh ha ha ha! Fooled her. I found this neat book in my Rainbow Resource Catalog. That catalog is a GOD SEND b.t.w. Wowza... what took me so long to find that? It's amazing. OK -- back on track. Character Italics. They use the Getty-Dubay Italic handwriting, but have "character" stuff in it. It's for 5th graders... just don't tell Tori. She'll never know. OK -- she can read... maybe I'll embelish her workbook with stickers or something, before I give it to her.

Bible she will be doing her ProTeen memory work and daily Mana book. b.t.w. if there are any local teens out there... well - Parents of teens out there, this ProTeens is the BEST thing I have seen for teens. This is not an entertainment type deal. It gets them into God's Word. A discipleship program. Learn the Word. Figure out how to apply it to your life. Memorize scripture. Serve others. I really like it. Earn points through out the year. Tori has learned a lot and grown tremendously. Of course... you only get as much out as you put in. But there aren't any crazy games, and wild parties... just God's word. They call the youth group ProTeens... they also meet once a month. Do after game activities together. But the emphasis is not on entertainment with this group. I truly love it for my kids!

She will still be doing spelling as well. I've got a spelling CD we got from Costco. We go all out for our kiddos, I tell ya. It has several grades on one CD. She'll be thrilled. (Not really). I've noticed her spelling has gotten better the older she gets and the more she cares about it. We really struggled for a while. She's getting there. So -- we are still going to do spelling... even in 8th grade.

That's it... the basics.

More tomorrow -- that'll be the Ambleside Online stuff. I need a new word. How many times did I use the word stuff in this post. Probably 1 too many.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Did I tell you about the Pool?

Dan found a pool on craig's list. (Love that list). $500. It's about 20 years old. So the folks took it down... we took all their stuff... and put it back up in our yard. Sounds easy enough.

SNORT!! Oh wow... did I just snort?

It was HARD WORK! Dan prepared the ground... it the hottest part of the summer. Crazy... since it is now August and it hasn't been as hot as it was in those 2 weeks in May. Someone mentioned to us that it is our fault it has been cool this summer. We put up a pool. Funny.

So here it is -- the finished product. It came with a heater... but we sold it. Yeah, silly I know... who knew we would need a HEATER in JUNE!!??!! He sold it for $250. Made that pool a bit cheaper. We did buy a new liner... but hey -- very cheap permanent pool.

We fed our friends who came to help, us on memorial day. I think we still owe them a meal or two... they worked HARD. And it rained while they were there. We just kept on working.
I've got proof... see my hair? It's been rained on. I'm so glad Necole is still smiling... this was at the end of the day.

I seem to have gotten the photos out of order... Here we were working on putting in the liner. It was the next day. The hard part was putting up that crazy wall. Well - the really hard part was leveling the hard clay underneath the pool. Well -- the really, really hard part was installing those cement blocks that the uprights stand on and getting them all level and the right distance apart.

But -- all's well that ends well... reminds me of a story. I'll be back soon to talk about Shakespeare... a few of us will be doing Ambleside Online for school this year. I'm so excited... I just can't hide it... reminds me of a song.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I'm Collecting

Vacation is a good time to collect new photos. I can't wait to blog 'em!!